LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A Central High School cross country and track athlete wanted to be able to run this winter. He put on a pair of snow shoes and after his first race, qualified for the Snow Shoe National Championships.
Paul Schmitt, 15, only took up snow shoe running this winter.
The Central sophomore entered the Wisconsin 5K qualifier in Phillips, Wis. and came in third with a time of 25:08.7.
Since the first and second place athletes didn't register for nationals, Schmitt will be heading to Bend, Oregon this March to race in the 15-to-19-year-old division.
"I really had no idea that I would get 3rd in the 5K and qualify for nationals," Schmitt said. "I was just out there to have a good time and have fun, just running through packed snow and all that stuff. So, it was a really new experience and I just, I was really surprised that I qualified for nationals. But it was a really fun time."
To train, Schmitt will be participating in another snow shoe race this weekend and running the cross country ski trails at Goose Island.
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